Guardian fauxtography: Chris McGreal pulls a Jon Donnison

You no doubt recall when, during the last war in Gaza in 2012, BBC’s Jon Donnison tweeted a photo of a girl with the title “Pain in Gaza”, to which Donnison added his own commentary – “Heartbreaking”.  It of course turned out that the genuinely heartbreaking image was actually from Syria and not from Gaza – a mistake for which Donnison subsequently apologized. 

Well, within the last hour, the Guardian’s Chris McGreal just retweeted the following, to his nearly 4,000 followers, a Tweet by Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director, Middle East and North Africa Division, for Human Rights Watch.


However, this photo of a boy (8 year old Eid) holding his new prosthetic leg was taken in Syria, not Gaza.


The article posted at the site of Palestine Children’s Relief Fund explains:

Thanks to the support of donors all over the world, the hard work of the PCRF Jordan Chapter, and Mr. Charl Stenger, an orthotics specialist working in Dubai, 8-year-old Eid from Syria got his new artificial legs after losing them from a bombing earlier this year (his mother was killed and his 5-year-old sister also lost a leg).  The PCRF is dedicated to helping any child in need, regardless of their nationality, religion or ethnicity.  

No doubt, apologies from McGreal and Whitson will be forthcoming.

UPDATE: Whitson deleted her tweet and wrote this:


No word yet from McGreal.

31 replies »

  1. A couple of thousand years ago a Greek dramatist called Aeschylus wrote;
    “In war, truth is the first casualty”

    He was remarkably prescient to foresee the antics of “The Guardian”, its hacks, apologists, and the other despicable liars who want the demise of Israel.

    • One-third of the 3,000 children injured in Israeli shelling in Gaza will suffer a life-long disability, the UN says.

      • Well ‘G’, or ‘Noam’, if the UN says it must be true.
        After all the UN is always truthful and correct in its reports without any hint of bias. (sarcasm intended)

  2. “could not verify provenance” – Sarah Leah Whitson

    It was a lost Vermeer, no doubt, miraculously rediscovered by the team of Sarah Leah Whitson and McGreel, who have made their careers by lying about Israel.

  3. How do these photo-journalists LIVE with themselves? The words ‘integrity’ and ‘truth’ have somehow vanished in the mire.

      • No ‘G’ your last sentence is wrong.
        It should not be “How does one live with that?”
        It should be “How does one believe that?”

      • Since children account for almost 50% of the population in Gaza, and the total number was 2000 (and that number was given by Hamas!) this proves Israel went out of its way to minimize civilian casualties.

      • With joy and wicked satisfaction if you are one of the brave leaders of Hamas,for whom the death of children is welcomed and planned for.

      • YOu really should ask that of Hamas usind these chidlern as human shields or the many who were killed by Hamas rockets falling short

      • Perhaps the people of Gaza should not have allowed Hamas to become a part of its government. It seems they gave up their children for Hamas. What cowards they are!

      • “How does one live with that?”
        You might want to direct that question to Hamas’s leader residing in a luxury hotel in Doha, since he planned and ordered it. It’s the type of thing fat cats always seem to get away with, or didn’t you know?

    • Fairbrit, I’ll explain how these so-called photojournalists live with themselves. Honesty and integrity has no part in their lives. All they care about is getting a story out. If they start worrying about the truth, they wouldn’t have a story! And what better place to have it printed than the Guardian? I’m surprised that the home office of the Guardian isn ‘t in the Gaza strip, with the best of Hamas reporters.

  4. ” The PCRF is dedicated to helping any child in need, regardless of their nationality, religion or ethnicity.”
    How does McGreal feel about that!?

  5. Misleading comments by Ms Whitson. The provenance of the photo was known but she still wouldn’t admit her error. Despicable.

  6. “deleting just posted photo as could not verify provenance. sad all the same”

    but of no particular interest because Israel was not involved.

    • Feeling sad that nearly 500 children were killed in airstrikes in Gaza and more than 3,000 injured, including a third who will suffer a life-long disability.

      • Are you really feeling sad ‘G’?
        Then you should direct your sadness towards Hamas and its allies who placed their weapons and fired them from among civilian areas.
        You should feel sad that Hamas and its allies are that reprehensible that the lives of children and all civilians in Gaza and Israel mean nothing to them while they are cowering safely in bunkers and their leadership is hiding safely abroad in luxury hotels.

        • “the lives of children and all civilians in Gaza and Israel mean nothing to them”

          But the deaths mean a lot for in death the children become weapons, reducing the gullible narcissists of the West to short lived tears and protesting support for the most vile of men.

      • Naturally the loss of ANY life in war is a tragedy but errors are made in war because IDF are confronted by Hamas’s human shields tactics. However, you need to be honest with yourself and direct the responsibility for the [unverified] high numbers of [allegedly] civilian deaths to HAMAS, not to Israel..

        Read this:

        Then read this:

        And finally please ask yourself: why is this information suppressed by British media? Maybe because it contradicts Chris Gunness of UNRWA? Why does Jon Snow & Newsnight refuse to show footage of foreign correspondents’ videos showing Hamas rockets fired from residential buildings? Maybe because it does not fit in with their anti-Israel agenda?

      • I wonder if you write elsewhere about your sadness for children in other conflicts – say Syria or Iraq, and if so, where you blog about your feelings. Or is it only children that have been killed in the Gaza conflict that for some inexplicable reason, gets your attention?

  7. Sarah Leah Whitson is a liar, first tweeting a faux, then not apologising for misleading but relativising with a generalisation. Symptomatic for the personal credibility at HRW when referring to the Jewish state.

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